Dog Articles, Diseases

Ear Mites in Cats and Dogs

Animals Affected

Cats, dogs, puppies, and kittens.

Overview

Ear mites are parasitic organisms that infest pets.  They may cause intense irritation and itching in the ears, accompanied by production of large amounts of ear wax.

Ear mites are a leading cause of ear problems in kittens and cats.  They can infest dogs and puppies as well, but are a less frequent cause of problems in this species.

Collapsing Trachea in Dogs

Animals Affected

Dogs

Overview

Collapsing trachea is a common syndrome in middle-aged and elderly small dogs.  In the syndrome, the structures that support the wind pipe, or trachea, weaken.  This causes the trachea to narrow during the course of respiration, leading to irritation of the wind pipe and coughing.

Collapsing trachea is a chronic, progressive, and non-curable syndrome.  However, it rarely causes severe compromise to quality of life, and very rarely contributes to premature death.

Coccidia (Isospora) in Cats and Dogs

Animals Affected

Puppies and kittens. Rarely, adult cats and dogs.

Overview

Coccidia are microscopic intestinal parasites of dogs and cats.   They are extremely common, but they very rarely cause symptoms in adult animals.   In puppies and kittens, they are a frequent cause of diarrhea.

Untreated, severe cases of coccidia in young animals can lead to profuse diarrhea, dehydration, and serious illness.  However, most cases of coccidia do not have these consequences.

Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs

Animals Affected

Primarily dogs; very rarely cats.

Overview

Chocolate contains two compounds, caffeine and theobromine, that are poisonous to dogs.  Caffeine and theobromine are related compounds, and have similar effects on dogs.

Consumption of small or moderate quantities of caffeine and theobromine leads to mild symptoms of agitation and nervousness.  Dogs that ingest large quantities of the two toxins may suffer irregular heartbeats and even death.